One of the most familiar words in the HR manager’s lexicon, and arguably the one that causes them the greatest headache is ‘retention.’ With the ongoing pressure to mitigate the risk of a bad hire and keep hold of their best talent, retention is perhaps the most prevalent theme underlying all that hiring managers say and do. It is also a word that most recruitment business owners will be accustomed with too.
Of all the challenges facing agency owners, the need to retain their best clients is one of the greatest. Of course, this is nothing new, it is the way it has always been. However, the difference now is that competition between agencies who are all vying for the same business has never been as intense, and the next 12 months are predicted to see this level of competitiveness continue.
In a recent study of small business owners in the UK, 6 in 10 (64%) said that retaining existing clients was the most stressful part of their job. It is commonly acknowledged that businesses lose 20% of their customer base over the course of an average year, so a thinning of your portfolio should not be a surprise. That said, we all know that it is more cost-effective to retain customers than win new ones, with some estimates suggesting a six or even seven-fold increase in costs.
Indeed, having a sound base of repeat business means one very simple thing – more sales. So, how can recruitment business owners increase their client retention rates?
Add value: Yes, you may be busy, but all clients love it when a recruitment partner goes out of their way to offer something above and beyond what they have been contracted to do. For instance, you spend all day talking to other clients and candidates, so you’ll have a great understanding of their markets – share this intelligence with your clients.
Engage them: You’re an expert at what you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be in business. So, write about what you know and include the latest articles from your blog in a newsletter that you can send to clients each month. This keeps you front of mind and retains their buy-in to you.
Connect with them: LinkedIn is one of the most important tools in a recruiter’s box, so ensure you connect with your clients on there. Post relevant content regularly so they can see you have your finger on the pulse of what is happening in your sector, and like and share the content they post, too. This is another simple yet effective way to remain on their radar.
Automate: In today’s fast-moving recruitment environment, recruiters have a choice – either keep pace or get left behind. While it’s highly unlikely anyone would opt for the latter, the fact is that too many agencies are doing precisely that because the recruitment software they are using is so antiquated. Your clients might not know that your systems are rather dated, but they’ll certainly feel it – especially if they have or are using another agency.
Using the right recruitment technology will enable you to quickly and efficiently close, fill and process jobs faster. It reduces the amount of time spent performing essential yet time-consuming administration tasks which in turn sees recruiters win back valuable billing time.
For instance, Simplicity recently launched GEMS – GEMS combines both front and back office systems into one simple process and is FREE for all Simplicity recruitment agency Partners.
A high client retention rate is great for business. It demonstrates to new clients that your existing customers are not only happy with the service they receive from you, but also the return they generate on their investment. The list above is by no means definitive, but what they do is demonstrate how client retention rates can be maximised with nominal effort.